One of the hardest tasks as a parent is finding the right way to discipline.  It’s even more difficult when your child is at that magic age between baby and not so baby anymore.  I’m talking those early toddler months, 12 – 18 months old. 

It is hard because you aren’t sure what exactly your precious little one can understand, and definitely not confident that he does things just to drive you crazy or not.  At this age the best method of discipline is still what I like to call the “Firm No and Distract.”  That means when my son decides he wants to stand on his tricycle I stop him.  Give him a firm no, then move him away from the tricycle on to another toy.  Hopefully one less dangerous.  Who am I kidding though, boys can make anything dangerous.  Don’t be discouraged if the first thing your child does is run right back to whatever it was they were doing that you said no to.  Part of it is they like your attention. 

On the other hand, I believe they want to confirm what you’re objecting too.  And of course, they just want to be curious and explore.  After all, in my son’s eyes, there is nothing wrong with crawling into the dishwasher.  It’s something new and exciting to do. 

Just remember to be firm, not angry and to be consistent.  If your child knows what to expect from you each and every time, their actions will begin to show the same consistency and eventually they’ll stop doing whatever behavior is driving you up the walls.  Yes, they will just move on to the next thing.  Yet again, stay consistent.  And remember the rules you instill now will set the stage for future behaviors. 

-Stephanie Wright

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